Brisbane coach Chris Fagan has jumped to the defence of Harris Andrews and says his numbers are almost as good as his All-Australian year in 2019.
The Lions take on Fremantle in the top-of-the-ladder clash at Optus Stadium on Sunday and are priced at 91/100 to take the win. But there have been questions raised over the form of Andrews.
Brisbane currently sit second on the ladder after winning nine of their opening 11 games this season but some have suggested that Andrews is out of form.
That assumption was made after he made a couple of mistakes that led to goals in last week’s 14-point win over Greater Western Sydney.
However Fagan says he is averaging more possessions and marks per-game than he was in 2019 when he was named an All-Australian.
"I wish people who criticised him would look at the statistical data that's available in multitudes and check his form out," Fagan said ahead of the Freo game. "Because if you look at his 2019 All-Australian year, his numbers aren't too far different to that. In some areas he's even better.
"He's been a very consistent performer for us over four years. His numbers haven't varied much over that time."
Fagan also believes that Andrews is a victim of his own success and the defender could sometimes pay the price for the high standards he has set.
"If he gets beaten every now and then, it's like the world's caving in," Fagan added. "Well guess what, all defenders get beaten at some point in time. I think teams in the AFL now are playing much faster, and they're really testing defences out more than they have for a long time.
"That makes the job of the defender tougher, especially if the ball gets in there easily."